Wednesday, June 20, 2012

This is gonna be happening

On an oak chest.

cerused fly ebony cerused finish like my tray here

Because I finally, after 3 years, found really good directions online, with pictures and advise on products. They weren’t there when I looked for them during my reno project when there was much oak to be limed.

If I had know how, the oak cornice in my dining room, and the oak herringbone ceiling in my bedroom would have looked like that. It didn't happen that way.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Transplanted design

Moving from Houston to Atlanta, a family takes their Barbara Hill vibe with them, along with the furniture, and re-creates the feeling in their new home.

Old house

barbarahill2texas Houston, Museum District Modern

New house

dwell03 Atlanta, Buckhead Mansion

Here’s the goods inside

dwell01 Lindsey Adelman and Eames and Decorator White

dwell02 Marcel Wanders chandelier, Venus chairs

formerly with a e15 Big Foot table


dwell04 e15 Shiraz sofa pieces and Leila side tables in Atlanta

barbarahill4texas Sofa and tables in Houston, plus the Wegner Flag Halyard chair


dwell05 Love the gold surveillance camera by artist Camp Bosworth

dwell09Customized orange lighting by Rich Brilliant Willing in a so fab kitchen. My most favorite kitchen I’ve seen in a while.

I like the incarnation of all the cool bits in the 1920s Mediterranean-style mansion better than in the modern Houston home. I think they all read much more interesting. And Camp Bosworth, Rich Brilliant Willing, and e15 are all new to me and I want some. Like this

campbosworth Seriously. Want.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Small Pictures

I feel like I've been busily spinning my wheels on the Covenant House makeover. But there is progress. Sherwin-Williams is donating all the paint for the project and the Phillies are throwing in for the labor! Last week, several of the wives made a visit to see the facility firsthand and we picked out paint colors. Having all that bidness nailed down is a huge relief and I am so grateful for everyone's generosity, time and encouragement. And, wait.... in other developments, Cole and Heidi and the Hamels Foundation made a most lovely donation, and Phillies Charities is giving a grant, in Charlie's name, to Covenant House for the project. So there's all that. Not to mention people to do carpentry and electrical and wives volunteering to refinish furniture! So even though everything looks exactly as is did 10 weeks ago at the Crisis Center, we are moving forward and I have more ideas than ever.

This is what I want made for in front of the windows in the Women's/Child Lounge

Laser-cut wood panels

As I've been describing "laser-cut wood panels", I don't think folks were catching my drift. So for illustrative purposes I searched and found these. I had been thinking "organic/nature inspired motif", something like trees, and there are four windows so I thought each could have a tree in one of the four seasons.  Not trees, but I liked all the natural elements this design represents. 

But here's a tree

So, what kind of place does laser-cutting?

I discovered one months ago in Philly and I've been riding that high ever since, let me tell you! I want to be BFFs with NextFab Studio. If I can get this fabutastic organization on board, Covenant House PA will be one tricked out homeless youth shelter! I drool.

There are other helpers, who have committed to, well, help, and I will post more about them soon.

Meanwhile, finally, back home to Casa Blanca! YAY! I'd been away so long I forgot what she looked like. There's decor chores here I thought I'd get around to finishing.... but, the pool kept calling my name. Still, my pet project is chock-a-block with details that make me swoon

gold leaf and velvet
artemide logico
white bronze, white leather, orange
golden rings
velvet, lacquer
moooi random
marble, leopard
Oh, what tasty morsels! (And don't worry, that wonky screw in that door handle up there was straightened up. That dog don't hunt in this house.)     

Monday, June 4, 2012

It’s auction time again!!

Hooray! While I usually can’t get enough of the local auctions here in South Jersey, so far this year I haven’t had NEAR enough! I’ve been so busy laying groundwork for the Phillies Wives big Covenant House makeover project that I’ve neglected to pursue my true happiness – AUCTIONS!

I made two today. And I could have scored BIG had I not been – (a) late and (b) chicken shit. I previewed one auction yesterday and had my sights set on these fab lamps:


There was a pair. And they were big and bodacious. Gloss white ceramic with nary a chip, crack or craze. I couldn’t believe them, so smart and richly detailed.


Even without a place to put them, I bragged how I would easily spend $200 apiece if I could only make it in time to the auction to bid. YUUUP!!!

I did make it. Just in time. It was stunning to see them sitting there in all their glory and I was hyperventilating as I rushed to get my bidder number. I jumped into the bidding at 20 bucks and  predetermined that I would stay in until 200 if I had to. They were being auctioned at 2X the money but I wasn’t afraid. I really wanted them. In the blink of an eye, I was at 80 apiece, someone went 90, the auctioneer looked at me for 100 and I dropped my head and dropped out. WTF!! It all happens in, literally, 15 seconds or less. That’s all the time it took for some alien part of me to run like a scared little puppy and let someone else take my lamps away.

I tried to console myself by saying that I have no place for them. UH, HULLLLO – Century Storage, Storage Center and Extra Space Storage. I actually have three places they could have gone. WITH THE REST OF MY HOARD!!!

I did get back in the saddle – and quickly – in time to snag these:


Also big and beautiful and $15 apiece… so I thought. They too were being sold at “2X the money”, but when I went to pay, it was $15 for the pair! Because that’s how the auctioneer’s assistant had entered them into the computer. My gosh, if the lamp winning peeps got those two ginormous, beautiful lamps for $90 the pair – they got a heck of a deal. That’s the kind of shit that goes down at auctions. That’s way I never want to be away so long again.

I don’t know what these 2 went for, but by the time I got to the second auction some dealer had already won ‘em and slapped their sticker on:


They were quite a handsome pair and I swear, I would have paid $200 apiece for them if only I had had the chance.  Maybe more.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Yo! Check out this makeover project!

I am a part of the Philadelphia Phillies baseball family and am spearheading a Phillies Wives project to makeover several key spaces at Covenant House Crisis Center (a shelter for homeless youth) in Philly. It’s something I’ve been longing to do and am happy that the organization is behind us as we move forward with this worthwhile undertaking! Here’s the BEFORE pictures.


The space that the program directors of Covenant House identified as a top priority is the lounge that is used by the girls and their children. As with all the rooms we will be redecorating, I’m working elements into the design plan that have quality and durability, as well as functionality. And because the residents are coming to the Crisis Center from chaos and trauma, my design goal is to create an atmosphere of tranquility that is organized and inspirational.


Another area that we’re taking on is the coed basement lounge which is the favorite gathering spot once everyone is back at the shelter after their day of job searching, work or school. Covenant House Crisis Center accepts young people that have aged out of the foster care system – ages 18 – 21. The “This End Up’ furniture right there? It’s staying! I think once we refinish it and have new cushions made, I’m gonna be all about it. And, Ellen Kravet ( yes Kravet – who I talked to on the phone and might have squealed at just a little) is donating fabric to us! Yep, this gig is LEGIT!


This landing in the dorm area of the girls who are pregnant or have children is getting a facelift too. We’re trying to find an artist who can create a fab mural that is nature inspired. If you know anybody, hit me up! 


The boys here are hoping for a Phillies themed lounge and would love to see that green wall painted. If our fundraising efforts are fruitful and we have good support from Philly area businesses, we’re going to try and spruce this space up as a bonus!

Living on the street sucks and Covenant House is working hard out there with an outreach team and programs to teach and train these kids. The Phillies Wives are proud and excited to be a tiny part of the tremendous good this organization does. For the youth that find their way to this shelter, the facilities they provide must seem like heaven. We’re striving to make it just a little bit prettier.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

All books, no blogs

Even though I haven't been blogging, I've been that same tweeking design junkie ho who prowls Barnes & Noble, Amazon and eBay looking for my bound fix - magazines of every nationality and books old and new. Not to mention forays to the auctions of the used furniture mecca in South Jersey and thrifty shops everywhere.

And I've scored.

An Amazon jungle's worth of printed paper. And a few decor items.

Mostly lamps, mirrors and rugs. Those bits will be headed South soon enough and hopefully I'll produce artful arrangements of them all. Somewhere or other.

I'm still waiting to be hooked up with the shelf full of new stuff I found on Amazon, but a number of vintage books have been delivered by my eBay pushers and they have been keeping me quite busy.

These images are all from a book, published in 1971, titled Modern Furniture and Decoration. The interiors here just spoke to me. And they say "we are your people". They must be, because I feel right at home looking at them all.

Warren Platner is my people, for sure. And so is Alessandro Albrizzi.

Something huge on the wall is my people. I'm still trying to find some hugeness of my own.

Somebodies named Martin and Mimi Francis must be my peeps. They so fresh how they put those awesome Philippine rattan rocking chairs all up on that antique Turkish rug. Then, POW, they smacks down some cool stoneware and say "This shit for you, Missy."

Decorator Guy Chansioux tricked out this Parisian apartment in white and black plus, the calling card of my people, cool lighting. Not to mention that spare parsons style coffee table styled with an oh so deft touch. Imma comin' home Guy.

John Dickinson. I only wish he was really-o truly-o my people. This bed - constructed of iron scaffolding. Those lamps. The woolen walls and the simplicity of those tables and their arrangement.

It's all good in my hood. How's it with you and your peeps?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Reading blogs can be good

As it happened, at the exact time one blogger was giving a heads-up to another blogger about an auction in Virginia, I was reading that blog and as it happened, I was soon to be on my way from the north to the south with a planned stop in that exact part of Virginia at the exact time the auction was taking place. And, as it happened, Mr. Man say, sure honey, we can spend the whole day at the auction.

So we did. And I won a few things.

auction 003

auction 004

vintage wool blanket

auction 010auction 008  some kind of oddish lamp that nobody else wanted

auction 014 desk chair

the exact desk chair I wanted

at a decent price


auction 018

a vase

not nearly big enough

so, why can’t I find big, jumbo accessories?